LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo said Thursday that 290 people who were living in MacArthur Park were moved indoors as of Oct. 15, when the park's lakeside portion was closed for "much-needed deferred maintenance."
Another 36 homeless people who were not living in the park were also moved indoors after they walked up to outreach workers in the park on Oct. 15 expressing the desire for shelter — bringing the total to 326, Cedillo's office said.
The residents of the park were placed in Project Homekey longterm housing sites, Project Roomkey temporary sites and A Bridge Home temporary shelter sites, according to Cedillo's office, which said that exact sites were not released to protect the residents' privacy.
"I am proud of the efforts by LAHSA, PATH and my staff to bring 326 homeless people indoors from MacArthur Park," Cedillo said in a statement.
Of the total number, 164 people who lived throughout the park were brought indoors before Sept. 27 and 126 people were brought indoors between Sept. 27 and Oct. 15 from the area of the park that closed, between Alvarado and Park View streets and Wilshire Boulevard and Seventh Street.
"We look forward to park rehabilitation and deferred maintenance work being completed by the Department of Recreation and Parks and we remain working with PATH and LAHSA to identify and secure permanent housing for those 126 formerly living at MacArthur Park that were moved indoors in preparation for the closure."
The lakeside portion of the park is expected to be closed for 10 weeks. People who declined shelter options were allowed to move to the portion of the park that did not close, according to Cedillo's office, which said it began offering shelter options to people living in the park starting in January.
Cedillo's office said the goal of the rehabilitation project is to make the park safe and clean for residents of the dense neighborhood, many of whom don't have other outdoor space. The park's maintenance has been deferred for more than 19 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the closure, the Department of Recreation and Parks is conducting electrical repairs, lighting repairs and upgrades, landscape reseeding, painting, irrigation repairs and upgrades, signage replacements and park furniture repairs and replacement.